OshMarch 28, 2015 in Kyrgyzstan ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C
Here's a story about how to get from one ex-communist country to another.
First, get on a sleeper bus with thirty odd chinese men. Warning: you will be required to squeeze on to a bed the size of a match box (three rows, each two story).
Drive through beautiful mountainous scenery and arrive at Chinese border. At this point your passport will be taken from you with no indication of when you will be reunited.
Proceed through customs and immigration; perservere with the argument you will have with chinese immigration that, as a British citizen, you do not require a Kyrgyz visa.
Drive 150km to Kyrgyz border. Wave at the camels and donkeys on the way.
Arrive at Kyrgyz border. Wrap up warm as it's cold and there's snow on the ground.
Enter Kyrgyz immigration hut. Don't be put off by the 7-foot tall Kyrgyz policeman dressed in full army attire with a Russian fur hat. Just smile, and when he smiles back, admire his full set of gold crowns on his upper teeth.
When asked by immigration (in Russian accent) 'do you speak Rrrrussian?', reply in your best home counties accent, 'I'm so sorry, I don't' and look innocent.
Hop back on the bus. As the bus climbs higher into the mountains and the depths of the snow drifts exceed 2 metres, don't be alarmed, and hope that snow chains will soon appear.
Snow chains don't appear and ice and snow cover the road. Panic. Bus swerves a lot. Panic a lot.
Night falls and the bus goes very slowly. At this point you will stop for dinner in a small conrete building where one man feeds the masses with scrambled eggs and bread. It will be the best scrambled eggs you've had.
Sleep until your arrival at Osh at 2am. If you have made the mistake of trusting lonely planet and are expecting to arrive in the cold light of day the next morning, feel free to panic again as you figure out what you will do for accomodation.
Finally, enjoy your stay.
Disclaimer: all of the above is truthful and factual information based on the experiences of one young traveller who thought she could get across the world with no foreign language skills.Read more